Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Toscanini in His Own Words|
Actors: Jackson, Long, Giammetta, Brandon, Goossens
Director: Larry Weinstein
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
This film is a docufiction on the great Toscanini directed by well-known film-maker Larry Weinstein who — pushes the boundaries of conventional documentary storytelling by borrowing tools from fiction films, including drama... more »
A 'Docufiction' About Toscanini
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 04/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Toscanini did not grant interviews. His eldest son, Walter, made supposedly secret recordings of his father during conversations among the maestro and various family and friends in Toscanini's Riverdale home late in his life. Filmmaker Larry Weinstein, aided by Toscanini biographer Harvey Sachs, wrote a script from representative passages in these tapes and had them re-enacted by actors in a setting like the Toscanini living room. The revelations in these scenes are not particularly new for anyone who has read Sachs's Toscanini books, but I imagine they might be interesting to those who have little knowledge of the maestro. The actors used in the re-enactments are really quite convincing. Especially so is Barry Jackson as Toscanini. He not only looks remarkably like him but he has mastered both his Italian accent and his frog-croak voice. Carolina Giammetta is convincing in her role as Toscanini's daughter, Wally. Joseph Long as Walter Toscanini, Jennie Goossens as the maestro's secretary Anita Columbo, and Valentina Chico as the widow of the maestro's protégé, conductor Guido Cantelli, are all believable. So is Michael Brandon as Québecois conductor, Wilfrid Pelletier, but why does he speak with an Italian accent?
The conversations are interspersed with clips of Toscanini conducting as well as newsreel clips of him traveling or rehearsing. There are also some home movie clips. Mixed in with these are staged 'home movies' with the actors mentioned above.
I can't say that I came away with any new awarenesses about Toscanini, but then I've had a lifelong interest in him and have perhaps more general knowledge about him than the ordinary musiclover. For what it is, this 'docufiction' is well-done.
Toscanini iIn His Own Words
Anthony Paterno | New York | 05/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The insertions from the telecasts and various home movies of the real Toscanini into the DVD reenactments was skillfully done. But I could see where some might not have the complete willing suspension of disbelief in Barry Jackson's impersonation of Toscanini. He bore a fair resemblance to Toscanini- but, and I might be quibbling here, he didn't have Toscanini nose and his voice lacked Toscanini's growly coarseness. But just when the reenactments began to falter - bang- the real Toscanini came in and overwhelmed everything.
I had goose bumps throughout the DVD. Highly recommended."